Disability can be defined as any physical, mental and sensory condition that restricts a person?s movements, senses or activities. The term disability is used to refer to malformations that are severe enough to interfere with, or obviate normal day-to-day living activities. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, persons with disabilities include those who have substantial long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. It is important to note that disabilities can be permanent, temporary, or episodic. They can affect people from birth, or could be acquired later in life through injury or illness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 650 million people, or ten percent of the world?s population, have a disability. In Ghana, the disabled welfare groups estimate that ten percent of Ghanaians have some form of physical or sensory impairment. In most developing countries including Ghana, persons with disabilities constitute an impoverished marginalized group, characterized by lack of access to public health, education, and other social services that would ideally support and protect people with disabilities.

To have a clear understanding of the issues relating to persons with disabilities in the Upper West Akim District, data was collected on persons with disabilities in the 2010 PHC. Chapter six deals with the distribution of the population with disability, type of disability, persons with disability by type of locality, distribution of disability and economic activity and persons with disability, education and literacy.

Population with Disability

Table 6.1 shows that there are 2,926 persons in the district who had some form of disabilities, and this represents about 3.4 percent of the total population in the district. There is a slight difference between the numbers of persons with disability with regards to sex. There are 1,424 males representing (3.3%) of the male population in the district with a disability as compared to 1,502 (3.4%) of the female population in the district with disabilities.


Types of Disability

Figure 6.2 shows the distribution of persons with disabilities by types of disability in the Upper West Akim District. A total of 1,104 (37.7%) have sight impairment out of the population with disabilities, followed by physical disability 1,031 (35.2%). This makes sight and physical disability the most common types of disability in the district. Comparatively, 39


there is a little difference between persons with speech disability and persons with hearing disability. People with speech disability make a total of 573 (19.6%) compared to 561 (19.2%) of persons with hearing disability. This difference could be due to the fact that hearing and speech disabilities are closely related. Figure 6.2 further shows that a total of 646 (22.1%) persons have intellectual disability making it the third most common type of disability in the district.

Population with Disability and Type of Locality

Table 6.2 gives a comparison of data on the distribution of the population with disability by type of locality in the Upper West Akim District. There are 2,318 persons in the rural areas with a disability compared to 608 persons in the urban areas. The most common types of disability in the urban areas are physical disability (31.6%) and sight impairment (30.9%). On the other hand, the percentage of persons with sight disability is higher in the rural areas (39.5%) compared to the urban areas (30.9%). Also the proportion of persons with emotional disability is higher in the rural areas (20.2%) than in urban areas (12.2%).

Disability and Economic Activity Status

Table 6.3 shows persons 15 years and older with disability by economic activity status and sex. The data shows that 3.8 percent of the employed population in the Upper West Akim District are disabled and the unemployed population with disability is 3.5 per cent. The economically not active persons with disability are 7.1 percent which is higher for females (7.4%) than for males (6.8%). The proportion of the employed persons with disability is higher for males (3.9%) than for females (3.6%). Employment is highest for persons with sight disability (40.1%) followed by persons with physical disability (32.3%) and hearing disability (17.4%). Those with speech disability are least employed (16.2%).

For the sexes, the proportion with sight disability employed is 40.3 percent for females and 39.9 percent for males which imply that sight disability is no impediment to getting a job. Physical disability is second and is 34.4 percent for females and 30.3 per cent for males.

Disability, Education and Literacy

Table 6.4 presents the population three years and older by sex, disability type and level of education in the district. About forty- six (46.6%) of persons with disability have never attended school. However, with respect to persons with disability with some form of education, (5.0%) have secondary education. Among the types of disabilities, approximately forty-seven percent (46.8%) of persons with sight disability have never attended school, followed by those with physical disability (47.4%). About six percent (6.7%) of persons with sight disability have attained post graduate (SHS and Higher) making it the only type of disability with that level of education. In relation to sex, about forty percent (39.1%) of males with physical disability have never attended school compared to almost sixty percent (60.9%) of females with sight disability who have never attended school. The highest level of education for males with disability is SHS and Higher certificates with approximately nine percent (9.2%) of persons with sight disability attaining that level of education. However, females with disability have the highest level of education with (39.3%) having basic education in the district.

Date Created : 11/27/2017 6:49:40 AM